Archive for February, 2013

The Children in the White House and Congress

February 28, 2013

President Barack Obama’s approach to the spending cut issue is like a child who suggests that if his family needs to reduce expenses it should stop buying fruits and vegetables while continuing to purchase cookies and potato chips. Obama and his playmates in Congress have responded to the issue of cutting spending by proposing elimination of essential spending such as meat inspectors instead of nonessential spending such as grants to local governments for purely local matters.

Instead of trying to work with Congress to arrange some type of compromise, Obama is running around like a chicken with its head cut off squawking for somebody to do something. Obama needs to be taking care of business in Washington instead of outside of Washington giving speeches.

Both Obama and Congressional Republicans are ignoring the nature of the budget problem. They remind me of a beer commercial except instead of crying “great taste” or “less filling” they are crying “more spending” and “less taxes”.

The solution to the budget deficit will require a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. At the very least congress should suspend all tax credit programs and all non-education or highway construction grants to state and local governments. Tax credit programs are of dubious constitutionality because they allow individuals to spend what is essential federal tax revenue without congressional approval of specific spending decisions.

Most grants to state and local programs are of limited economic value. Intercity highway construction provides significant economic benefits as does education spending.

Layoffs in agencies such as meat inspectors and air security would hurt the economy and reduce federal tax revenue which would make the deficit worse. However, layoffs in regulatory agencies such as the EPA wouldn’t hurt the economy. Layoffs at EPA might benefit the economy considering the EPA’s continuing efforts to eliminate jobs in the coal industry.

Congress should eliminate funding for climate research. The people claim that carbon dioxide causes global warming insist that climate science is settled. If that is so then there is no need to spend money on further research. Congress should only fund research to learn new things. The only justifiable reason to fund climate research is to find

Congress cannot cut enough money from the budget to eliminate the deficit without adversely affecting the economy. Tax increases will also be needed. The easiest way to increase taxes would be to have the payroll tax apply to all income received from an employer up to and including the million plus salaries of corporate CEO’s and professional athletes and entertainers.
Republicans claim that the rich would use excess income to create jobs. However, only business owners would use their money in that way. Increasing taxes on corporate employees won’t affect job creation because employees don’t use their incomes to create jobs.

Our system of government depends upon the President to provide leadership. Unfortunately, President Dunseld seems incapable of providing the leadership necessary to deal with the budget crisis. To use and expression from the sixties: “Obama is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. [NOTE: “Dunseld” is a term used at Starfleet Academy to describe a part with no useful function.]

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Enron’s Global Warming Scam Survived It’s Bankruptcy

February 4, 2013

Remember Enron, the corrupt firm whose failure should have disproved the myth “too big to fail”, but didn’t? At the time it was the seventh largest corporation. It’s bankruptcy was the largest in history until Lehman Brothers failed. Incidentally, Lehman Brothers was also involved in carbon trading.

Enron owed part of its early success to emissions trading. Basically emissions trading was established as a way for some companies to profit from pollution while allowing some companies to continue to produce the chemicals that can cause acid rain.

Lawrence Solomon, executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute, is reporting that Enron played a major role in pushing the global warming scam, including establishing the Kyoto Protocals. [Solomon’s article in the National Post is apparently no longer posted on the web.]

Enron had already profited from trading sulfur dioxide credits and saw the potential for even greater profits from trading what would become known as “carbon credits“.

The article is the first in a series of articles about those who seek to profit from what Weather Channel founder John Coleman calls “the greatest scam in history.”

Solomon states, ” The climate-change industry — the scientists, lawyers, consultants, lobbyists and, most importantly, the multinationals that work behind the scenes to cash in on the riches at stake — has emerged as the world’s largest industry. Virtually every resident in the developed world feels the bite of this industry…” which increases the costs of various goods and services.

Enron was an early player beginning early in the administration of Bill Clinton to push for a carbon dioxide trading system. Enron also sought support from environmental groups.
“Between 1994 and 1996, the Enron Foundation donated $1-million to the Nature Conservancy and its Climate Change Project, a leading force for global warming reform, while [Chairman Kenneth] Lay and other individuals associated with Enron donated $1.5-million to environmental groups seeking international controls on carbon dioxide.”

According to Solomon, “Political contributions and Enron-funded analyses flowed freely, all geared to demonstrating a looming global catastrophe if carbon dioxide emissions weren’t curbed. An Enron-funded study that dismissed the notion that calamity could come of global warming, meanwhile, was quietly buried.”

Enron advised the Clinton administration what to do at the Kyoto Japan Conference in 1997.

To improve its chances for success Enron hired former Environmental Protection Agency regulator John Palmisano to become the company’s lead lobbyist as senior director for Environmental Policy and Compliance. Palismano wrote a memo describing the historic corporate achievement that was Kyoto.

“If implemented this agreement will do more to promote Enron’s business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring of the energy and natural-gas industries in Europe and the United States,” Polisano began. “The potential to add incremental gas sales, and additional demand for renewable technology is enormous.”

The memo, entitled “Implications of the Climate Change Agreement in Kyoto & What Transpired,” summarized the achievements that Enron had accomplished. “I do not think it is possible to overestimate the importance of this year in shaping every aspect of this agreement,” he wrote. He cited three issues of specific importance to Enron in the climate-change debate: the rules governing emissions trading, the rules governing transfers of emission reduction rights between countries, and the rules governing a gargantuan clean energy fund.

Polisano’s memo expressed satisfaction bordering on amazement at Enron’s successes. The rules governing transfers of emission rights “is exactly what I have been lobbying for and it seems like we won. The clean development fund will be a mechanism for funding renewable projects. Again we won …. The endorsement of emissions trading was another victory for us.”

“Enron now has excellent credentials with many ‘green’ interests including Greenpeace, WWF [World Wildlife Fund], NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council], German Watch, the U.S. Climate Action Network, the European Climate Action Network, Ozone Action, WRI [World Resources Institute] and Worldwatch. This position should be increasingly cultivated and capitalized on (monetized),” Polisano explained.

Those who believe in Global Warming like to claim that they are opposed by corporate interests in the form of the energy companies. They neglect to mention that the battle isn’t against corporations, it is between different groups of corporations. The energy companies are attempting to continue providing energy to consumers. Companies on the other side are merely attempting to create a financial opportunity for themselves as financial parasites who provide nothing to anyone and get rich in return.

Democrats often criticize Republicans for being too close to business. Democrats are just as close to business. They simply favor different businesses.

As William O’Keefe, chief executive officer of the Marshall Institute, puts it: “The American people have had enough of convoluted, indecipherable financial schemes and the opportunists who exploit them. The public is understandably angry about Wall Street’s exploitation of Main Street, and yet our political leaders are setting the stage for another complex trading market, ripe for corruption. The future Enrons and Bernie Madoffs of the world would like nothing better than to see the U.S. impose a new market for carbon emission trading.”